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Deeply concerned downtown lover

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am

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Dearest St. Albertans,

Are you tired of having your tax dollars spent on frivolous projects put forward by our city council? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but our city is repeating its blundering budgeting bungles once again.

It is a truism that history often repeats itself and I think that the changes made to Perron Street echo the insidious mistakes made several years ago when the city purchased several sculptures to adorn St. Albert Place. Okay, so perhaps the sculptures were far too beautiful to pick only one…but did we really need all of them? And how are we meant to appreciate the subtle beauty and merit of these pieces when they are in such close proximity to one another?

But I digress. Let me begin my current venture which is to testify to the absurdity of council’s latest disaster.

Contrary to popular belief and practical perception, St. Albert Trail is not the centre of our business district, it is the tiny and quaint little Perron Street that is the heart of our downtown. Parking has always been a challenge here as there are so many fantastic amenities located off of this street and I do agree that the city needs to do something to improve the situation.

However, instead of taking land such as the space behind the community centre and converting it into a proper and accessible public parking lot, council has decided to remove two lanes of traffic and institute angle parking! Traffic will be irreparably impeded because it is, firstly, reduced to a single lane each direction, and secondly, must grind to a complete stop every time a parked car exits! Forgetting the fact that having only one lane will slow the flow of traffic like a severely clogged artery, there exists the very real possibility that accidents will increase exponentially as drivers must back up into oncoming traffic to exit parking spots.

Surely council members have attended the farmers’ market? On market days the flow of traffic is ridiculously slow with two lanes! How on earth will reducing traffic to one lane improve the situation? In the new world city council has dreamed up (and tragically brought into existence) we will have only one lane in each direction to drive on and we must back up into oncoming traffic to exit after we park. Thankfully there are more spaces for cars, right? Wrong! The end result of this impractical decision is around 12 extra spaces. They must be joking! Given the fact that there are more than twelve local businesses with addresses on or just off of Perron Street, each business has potentially less than one extra space for their customers. It seems to me if we want to keep the heart of our downtown healthy and happy we need to keep its arteries clear, instead council has collapsed our veins.

Erin Sinclair, St. Albert


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